“therefore the Lord God expelled the man from the garden of Eden so he would work the ground from which he had been taken.  After he had expelled the man, the Lord God placed winged angels at the eastern end of the garden of Eden, along with a fiery, turning sword, to prevent access to the tree of life”.  Genesis 3:23-24 ISV

When we first got Burt, he would whip his head around and try to bite you.  It happened when he was excited, had to go to the bathroom, needed your attention, and when he didn’t want to do what you asked him to do.  In other words, all the time.  The trainer came and recommended a collar and showed us how to hold it so he couldn’t get to you if he was tempted to bite.  As we all got better acquainted, this behavior was no longer an issue.

Burt tried to nip employees at doggie daycare for the same reasons, usually a lot of barking dogs and yes, I am making excuses for him.  We had heard no complaints for awhile and were always told he was fine.  So when it was suggested that we change our normal day for one where his trainer was working, I was suspicious and made inquiries.  Apparently, his nipping was still going on and after the suggestion was made, he tried it on the owner.  We were now told he would only be accepted half days on Monday and Wednesday and the cost was the same.  Basically, Burt was being expelled from doggie daycare.

Just like Burt, Adam and Eve had it made in the Garden of Eden.  They were given everything to enjoy but one tree.  The rules were presented but they couldn’t uphold their end of the deal when tempted.  Just like Burt, Eve took a bite and encouraged Adam to taste the fruit too. Just like Burt, they were expelled from the garden. God put an angel and a flaming sword always turning to guard the gate to make sure they never returned. I don’t think doggie daycare is going quite that far to keep Burt out.

We all must live according to some rules.  If we don’t do our jobs according to the expectations, we may be fired.  If we don’t obey the speed limit, we pay a fine.  If we disobey a teacher or principal we could be expelled from school.  When rules are broken there are consequences.

How about you?  Is it hard to break those old habits?  Is it easier to whip your head around and bite at those trying to enforce the rules?  Are we a rebellious people (Isaiah 30:9)?

James 4 tells us to submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee from you.  It instructs us to draw near to God and he will draw near to us.  Verse 10 says to humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he will lift you up.

We might not be able to get past the flaming sword with the “Keep Out” sign but God has swung open the gate to heaven when he provided Jesus as our Savior.  As we trust in him for our salvation, we are no longer expelled from the presence of God but are invited to come boldly into his presence (Hebrews 4:16).

Psalm 16:11 states, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”.  Don’t get expelled from a heavenly eternity for the earthly pleasures of today!


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